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The cost of buying at Farmers' Markets

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The cost of buying at Farmers' Markets

Post  Kelejan on 10/12/2014, 1:24 pm

With the California three-year drought we are being warned of the rising cost of produce. I support our local farmers' market and often buy what I do not have enough of.
Yesterday i bought a small bunch of chard. Previously paid $2 per bunch, this time it was $3.50.  I took it home and weighed it: less than 4oz.
If you do not grow your own, how are poor people going to manage?
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Re: The cost of buying at Farmers' Markets

Post  sanderson on 10/12/2014, 1:47 pm

Kelejan, Oh, do I thank you for mentioning the far reaching effect of the California 3-year drought! thanks

And, thank you for your Canadian garlic here in CA. Garlic can no longer be commercially grown in Gilroy, CA, due to a disease that renders the soil unsuitable for garlic for many years. At least the processing plants can continue to make garlic products = a few jobs saved.

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Re: The cost of buying at Farmers' Markets

Post  llama momma on 10/12/2014, 2:02 pm

It's probably cheaper and can be more filling to purchase chemically laden fake food loaded with more chemicals, preservatives, sugar, salt, and fats.   Cheap, little preparation, fills the belly with junk. 

Speaking of junk, if you purchase powdered cheese that you shake out from the top of those round containers, take a look at the ingredients.  It may very well include the word cellulose which is code for ground up wood.  I have yet to see any articles claim differently. 
The producers of this junk should be forced to label it as Grated cheese with bark chips.
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Re: The cost of buying at Farmers' Markets

Post  camprn on 10/12/2014, 2:03 pm

Good Lord! I would absolutely try to bargain down that price or go to market during the last hour to attempt to get a discount. I cannot imagine charging folks $14/lb for chard. Evil or Very Mad

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Re: The cost of buying at Farmers' Markets

Post  Kelejan on 10/12/2014, 2:51 pm

@camprn wrote:Good Lord! I would absolutely try to bargain down that price or go to market during the last hour to attempt to get a discount. I cannot imagine charging folks $14/lb for chard. Evil or Very Mad

The trouble is, camprn, I am a wimp. Also the person minding the stall was only a friend helping out. I will ask the owner next week, if the outdoor market is still going.
I have lots of kale growing great, but I cannot like the stuff. Have to use it in soups.
I had the chard steamed for breakfast, cost $3.50 plus two large organic eggs at 33c each. Total $4.16 compared to our local Sunday indoor market that supplies breakfast consisting of two eggs, two skinny sausages and hash browns with coffee and two rounds of toast for $6.50. Nothing organic in sight.
I know the market has costs that have to be paid, (I have been in  business myself) but I can still go and socialize for the price of the coffee.
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Re: The cost of buying at Farmers' Markets

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/12/2014, 5:43 pm

Poor people have never managed, except when growing their own food, which isn't a possibility for most city dwellers ... which are most people in America. It's sad, but business as usual. Poor people simply don't get the chance to eat as well.

It's all too common for poor people to live in "food deserts" with few supermarkets but plenty of liquor stores. Even franchise supermarkets show a marked degradation in the quality of produce they sell in poorer vs. richer neighborhoods. Some of it can be absolutely disgusting.

Gas prices have helped make food prices skyrocket, too. Unfortunately, even when gas prices drop, once a food gets sold at a certain price for a while, it tends not to drop in price later on. People get used to paying that much and stores and others in the supply chain pocket the difference.

What also bothers me is that the containers for many foods have shrunk while their prices remained level. At our local supermarkets, the new smaller sizes tend to be marked as "on sale" from their full price ... and that full price is the same one as the larger container used to carry. Then the sale is phased out and you're left paying the same price for a smaller container.

Unfortunately, though our farmers market takes food stamp credits, it still remains largely a place for yuppies and those otherwise doing quite well for themselves to shop. Prices are way too high on most items. You can be paying the same for a leafy green as you would for many of the pricier meats. And even a big batch of those cooks down to a small serving or two. The ability to shop at the farmers market in many cities and towns, not just ours, remains mostly a theoretical benefit to a community's nutrition. They serve more as places to have a pleasant stroll and go window-shopping to see what all the people with real money eat. I see a lot more people leaving the farmers market empty-handed than carrying a bag.

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Re: The cost of buying at Farmers' Markets

Post  sanderson on 10/12/2014, 6:02 pm

I haven't experienced the high prices you guys see at your Farmers' Markets. Maybe it is because this is an ag area and around Fresno are the smaller farmers with 10-20 acres. Truck crops? Is that the word for small fruit and vegetable growers? The Hmongs have really found a niche at our FM.

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Re: The cost of buying at Farmers' Markets

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/12/2014, 6:19 pm

If the Hmongs are like the Vietnamese (and Hmongs do live in Vietnam), they probably share the same tradition of keeping produce inexpensive. The Vietnamese markets in the Bolsa district in Orange County, where I used to live, were the place to go to get really fresh produce at excellent prices. Go to a Safeway a mile away and prepare to pay double the price for less fresh goods.

We have an Asian vendor or two at our farmers market, but they don't have enough competition that they're inspired to keep their food inexpensive.
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